Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Is it true that Ben Franklin proposed the idea that a wild turkey should be our country's national symbol instead of a bald eagle or is this a myth? Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Department of Natural Resources gets to the bottom of the interesting story in a short video.
Erik Thorson, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Park Rapids area wildlife supervisor, has accepted a temporary assignment to oversee the agency's while-tailed deer and other big game programs. Thorson officially begins his new position on Nov. 15, but began handling some responsibilities, including media contacts, immediately preceding the opening weekend of this year's deer season on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has produced six new, state-of-the-art maps that will make it easier and safer for people to explore, hunt, and recreate in state forests. "The DNR has updated six state forest maps with 53 more to go," said Forrest Boe, director of the DNR Forestry Division. "This five-year effort will include updating maps for all of Minnesota's state forests."
Northwestern and central Minnesota have elevated fire danger due to sparse rain, high winds and lack of humidity. This means that open burning may be restricted in certain counties. The Department of Natural Resources urges Minnesotans to use caution while burning yard waste or leaf piles outdoors and to check the burning permit website for information. "During fall, we know that residents and property owners will be taking care of leaf and brush piles," said Casey McCoy, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor. "Piles can smolder undetected for several weeks under the right conditions.
Results from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' 2016-17 wolf population survey suggest the state's wolf population has increased 25 percent since the 2015-16 survey. After remaining stable during the past four years, the survey estimates that within Minnesota's wolf range there were approximately 500 wolf packs and 2,856 wolves. The survey's margin of error is about plus or minus 500 wolves. The 2015-16 survey estimated the number of packs at 439 and the wolf population at 2,278.
Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chicken hunters can again this year voluntarily submit samples for study by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Ongoing DNR research is assessing prairie grouse exposure to chemicals called neonicotinoids. These are pesticides that, once applied, can move throughout a plant. Neonicotinoids are commonly applied to seeds before planting. "We're into our third year of this study assessing whether prairie grouse have been exposed to neonicotinoids by eating treated seeds or other ways," said Charlotte Roy, DNR grouse project leader.
It's habitat that matters and loss of habitat in the farmland regions has contributed to a 26 percent decline in Minnesota's pheasant index compared to last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold a public meeting to review a variety of special fishing regulations on Lakes Itasca, Oziwindib and Mary in Itasca State Park in Clearwater and Hubbard counties. Meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Jacob Brower Visitor Center for lakes Itasca and Oziwindib and at the Douglas Lodge for Mary Lake. Two locations are necessary in order to hold a meeting within the county where each lake is located. Comments for any lake will be accepted at either location.
With warm temperatures, little to no snow and dry vegetation, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources started spring burning restrictions in parts of the state March 31. As conditions for wildfires increase, exposed dead grass and brush can light easily and burn quickly, especially in windy conditions. To find burning restrictions for different areas, go to mndnr.gov/burnrestrictions or call a local DNR Forestry office. Fire conditions may change quickly.